Europe's oldest city. The palace at Knossos was a place of high color, as were Greek buildings in the classical period, and as are Greek buildings today. The walls and pavements were coated with a pale red derived from red ochre and displayed fresco panel murals.
The current catholicon (church) dates back to the 16th century and is marked by the influence of the Renaissance which mixes both Roman and baroque elements. The monastery played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule during the Cretan revolt of 1866. 943 Greeks, mostly women and children, sought refuge in the monastery. After three days of battle and under orders from the hegumen (abbot) of the monastery, the Cretans blew up barrels of gunpowder, choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender.
The city's Venetian citadel, the Fortezza of Rethymno, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Rethymno itself began a period of growth when the Venetian conquerors of the island decided to put an intermediate commercial station between Heraklion and Chania, acquiring its own bishop and nobility in the process. Today's old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Republic of Venice.
The fort was built by the Ottomans to control the valley of Vamos, which was amid the passage to Chania. Together with the other towers built by the Turks in Vamos, it controlled the gulf of Souda and supported the nearby fort Izzedin.
In 1908, Eleftherios Venizelos managed to establish a revolutionary government of Crete, recognized by the Great Powers. His later election as the prime minister of Greece (1910) eventually led to Crete's union with Greece on 1 December 1913, following the Balkan Wars. The Greek flag was raised for the first time at Fort Firka in the Old Harbour in the presence of Venizelos and King Constantine.
A nice 7-8 km walk on a dry river bed as a good alternative to the closed Samarian gorge nearby, it takes all the way to the south sea side of the Crete island.
The castle was built by the Venetians in 1371-74 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region, to deter pirates, and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties. The Venetians named it the Castle of St. Nikitas after the nearby church. In 1770, the Cretan rebel Ioannis Vlachos, otherwise known as Daskalogiannis ( John the Teacher), was a wealthy Aromanian shipbuilder and shipowner who led a Cretan revolt against Ottoman rule, was captured at Frangokastello by Turkish forces. He was later tortured and executed at Heraklion.
The first palace was built about 2000 BC.
Phaistos disk, today in Archeological Museum of Heraklion, is a clay disk, dated between 1950 BC and 1400 BC and impressed with a unique sophisticated hieroglyphic script, representative for the first type of writing, Linear A, still undeciphered script.
Gortyn code was a legal code that was the codification of the civil law of the ancient Greek city-state of Gortyn in southern Crete. Is both the oldest and most complete known example of a code of ancient Greek law. The code was discovered on the site of a structure built by the Roman emperor Trajan, the Odeon. One of the first Christian temples was built here and the remains of an important Christian cathedral of Crete can still be seen today. This cathedral, dedicated to St. Titus, the first Bishop of Crete, was erected in the 6th century AD.
Ierapetra is nicknamed "bride of the Libyan Sea" because of its position as the only town on the south coast of Crete.
According to Venetian documents, the name of the island originated in the Greek expression stin Elounda (meaning "to Elounda"). The Venetians could not understand the expression so they familiarized it using their own language and called it spina "thorn" longa "long", an expression that was also maintained by the locals. The Venetians were inspired for this expression by the name of an island near Venice called by the same name and which is known today as the island of Giudecca. Today the official Greek name of the island is Kalydon.
Little is known of the Old Palace though some finds from the Old Palace period attest to the wealth of the Old Palace at Malia. This palace was later destroyed, along with the surrounding town in 17th century BC.The second palace, the ruins of which we see today, was built about 1650 BCE and is similar in many respects to the old one. The second palace was destroyed around 1450 BCE, along with the other Minoan sites in Crete. The various functions of a palace -- religious, political, economic -- are all in evidence here. One of the most exquisite of all Minoan finds was uncovered here -- the gold bee pendant, showing two bees holding a berried fruit or honey cake.
Contains the most notable and complete collection of artefacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. It houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times.
Heraklion has been the home town of some of Greece's most significant spirits, including the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis (perhaps best known for his novel Zorba the Greek), the poet and Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis and the world-famous painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco). Kazantzakis' epitaph: I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
The settlement was destroyed in the Theran eruption around 1627 BC and buried in volcanic ash, like the Roman ruins of Pompeii, remarkably well-preserved frescoes,pottery, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site. The settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis. The site has been excavated since 1967. The name of the site in antiquity is unknown.
Oia is a coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini, a Greek Aegean island. The town has whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftops, and overlooks a vast caldera filled with water. Nearby is the ruined Oia Castle, known for its sunset views.
A traditional settlement, "Firá" derives its name from an alternative pronunciation of "Thíra", the ancient name of the island itself. From here is a panoramic view of 18 km long caldera from southern Cape Akrotiri to northern Cape Ag. Nikolaos, plus the volcanic island Nea Kameni at the center with Thirassia Island.
During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Naxos dominated commerce in the Cyclades. Naxos was the first Greek city-state to attempt to leave the Delian League circa 476 BC; Athens quickly squashed the notion and forcibly removed all military naval vessels from the island's control. Athens then demanded all future payments from Naxos in the form of gold rather than military aid.
Kouros of Flerio are long statues of white Naxian marble, located in a village garden in Melanes, a small village on Naxos, one of the Cycladic islands, in Greece. Each weigh between 5 and 7 tonnes. The largest kouros on Naxos is10.45 metres long is the Kouros of Apollonas, which weighs 80 tonnes, but is with less details.
Pear cactus has been gaining popularity as an exotic, gourmet and healthy addition to one's diet. The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: the pad of the cactus (nopal), which can be treated like a vegetable, the petals of the flowers, which can be added to salads, and the pear (tuna), which can be treated like a fruit. They grow wild, but the ones you may find at a local store or farmers market will surely originate from a commercial nopal farm.
Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death.  Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.
Mount Zas (1,003-1,004 m above sea level, not 103-104m as I said in the video) is the tallest mountain of Naxos island and also the tallest mountain of the Cyclades. Located 18 km from Naxos and according to mythology, this mountain was the place were god Zeus grew up. In fact, the mountain was named after him (Zas). His son, god Dionysus, also grew up on the slopes on this mountain, in a cave called Cave of Zas, several hundred metres below the summit.
Historically, Paros island was known for its fine white marble, which gave rise to the term "Parian" to describe marble of similar qualities.Today, abandoned marble quarries and mines can be found on the island, but Paros is primarily known as a popular tourist spot.
In Greek mythology, Mykonos was named after its first ruler, Mykons, the son or grandson of the god Apollo and a local hero. The island is also said to have been the location of a great battle between Zeus and Titans and where Hercules killed the invincible giants having lured them from the protection of Mount Olympus.
Icaria has a tradition of producing strong red wine. Many parts of the island, especially the ravines, are covered in shrubbery, making the landscape lush with green. The people kept barrels of the wine for their own drinking. They also continued to store it in the old-fashion way, in terracotta pithoi containers sunk to their rims in earth, thus protected their supplies from both tax collectors and pirates.
Pythagoras was credited with many mathematical and scientific discoveries, including the Pythagorean theorem, Pythagorean tuning, the five regular solids, the Theory of Proportions, the sphericity of the Earth, and the identity of the morning and evening stars as the planet Venus. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher ("lover of wisdom").
Vathy&Samos are the largest cities and the heart of the island economy based on tourism. Vathy is a sister city of Kuşadası, Turkey since October 28, 1999.
Phanariotes were members of prominent  Greek  families in Phanar, the chief Greek quarter of Constantinople. Constantine  Mavrocordatos  ruled a total of ten times in Moldavia and Wallachia  and abolished serfdom. After the Phanariote  era (31  princes, from eleven families, ruled the two principalities), families of Phanariote ancestry in Wallachia and Moldavia identifiedthemselves as  Romanian  in  Romanian  society.
Kos Island is first attested in the Iliad, and the name has been in continuous use since. The island has a 14th-century fortress at the entrance to its harbour, erected in 1315 by the Knights Hospitaller (Saint John Knights). A famous healing temple (or asclepieion) was built on the island of Kos, 3 km from the capital, where Hippocrates, the legendary "father of medicine" who was born on this island, begun his career and taught his disciples.